I'm from a state in the US where all gas is self-service. When traveling to Oregon (where all gas stations are full-service), how does the process work? Do you just pull up to the pump and hand the attendant your credit card? Is tipping required or recommended?

And is it true that it is a crime to actually pump your own gas at a station in Oregon?

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    I suspect it is somewhere between "not allowed" and a crime to pump your own gas at any full serve station anywhere, just as it would be weird to go behind the counter at Starbucks and pull your own espresso. In Ontario we have both full and self serve gas and I would never pump my own at a full serve. Dec 26 '11 at 13:58
  • After spending so much time in Asia I find the concept of self service gas cute. D'awwww... :')
    – Ankur Banerjee
    Dec 26 '11 at 15:15
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    I was weirded out by the fact countries differentiated between self service and non self service. In New Zealand all stations are both, you pull in get out and start pumping or tell the attendant to pump for you. It wasn't till I saw a documentary about New Jersey where it is illegal to pump your own, that i realized that they way I was bought up wasn't the only way.
    – Stuart
    Dec 26 '11 at 21:55
  • @Stuart in most states in the US some gas stations have both self and full service, but full service will cost more.
    – Karlson
    Jan 5 '12 at 15:57
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    @jrdioko I've seen them in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, California, Illinois, Pennsylvania. I've been told the same about Tennessee, Missouri, Colorado and others. Not all of the gas stations have those services and it's a choice of the Gas Station Owner whether or not to provide it.
    – Karlson
    Jan 5 '12 at 17:18

Haven't been to Oregon but the way it works in New Jersey where law is the same is as follows:

You pull up to the gas station. You wait in the car until an attendant comes. You give him Cash and he pumps the gas. Credit card behavior vary depending on the types of pumps installed. In some gas stations pumps cannot be activated unless an attendant uses his own card to activate the pump. In case the pump can be activated by your own credit card you can pump your own gas and noone will tell you anything about it. One thing to keep in mind though that the register for the gas is usually kept separate from the convenience store so if you decide to pay cash you will need an attendant. Tipping in this case is absolutely your choice. In New Jersey it's not a requirement or recommendation but if you choose to do it. Do it.

Technically under the law in both states it is illegal though I have not seen it enforced.

DumbLaws.com has a good explanation for the existence of this law but if you are concerned about legal implications of certain things in various states in the US you can try a different page on the same site. Makes for an interesting read. :)


As a life long Oregonian, I can answer.

You pull up to the pump, the attendant comes to your window, and you give them your card or cash, and tell them how much you want (usually filled, but I've asked for $20 before, especially when I pay with cash). They fill the tank, give you the receipt, and off you go.

It is illegal to pump your own, and you can be fined for it, although there is nothing about the pump stopping you, although the attendant will usually notice and run over to stop you pretty quickly. I believe that they might be liable for allowing people to pump their own.

As for tipping, I have never seen somebody tip the attendant, unless that attendant truly went out of their way to give good service. I guess you could, but it's definitely not expected.

There are a couple of exceptions. You can pump your own diesel, or if you have access to a commercial filling station like Pacific Pride.

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    As someone who once drove through Oregon and attempted to pump my own, I can vouch for the attendant freaking out. But I had to get out anyway to unlock the gas cap, so it all worked out. Apr 29 '16 at 12:10
  • In NJ I've not seen anyone freaking out about people pumping their own gas especially around state borders.
    – Karlson
    Apr 29 '16 at 18:44

Since 2016, there is an exception: if you are in a county with population less than 40,000, and it is between 6pm and 6am, you can pump your own gas if the station has self-service pumps.


As far as I can tell, pumping your own gas in general is not a crime, but is subject to a civil penalty of up to $500 under Section 480.385 of the Oregon Revised Statutes.


Here's a little fun fact about gas stations in Oregon. If you pull into a gas station and tell the attendant how much gas you want they are fully liable for any mistakes made whether they pump the wrong fuel into your vehicle or if they over pump the amount that you say so if you go in and ask for $15 of regular gas and they end up pumping $50 of regular gas they are liable for the other $35 that they over pumped and you only pay 15.

If they offer any insubordination or non-compliance eat with there mistake then they will be fired from the job and still have to pay for their mistake so if you are ever in Oregon and you get over pumps and gas and they tell you that you have to pay the difference that is not true completely false and the best thing to do is to call the head of the company and submit your complaint. Otherwise most attendant already know this and snivel a little bit but pay for their mistake.


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